Michael Snow 2 Radio Solos

This release is as much an artefact in time as it is a musical presentation. The image of Michael Snow sitting in a kerosene lamp-lit cabin in northern Canada scanning the shortwave band is something that is quintessentially of this country. The signals are further altered by a cassette recorder whose batteries are running down, providing the only semblance of "post-production" that manifests in this distinctly primitive scenario. Sounds range from voices and music from around the world phasing in and out of the air, combined with the static-laden, whining frequency shifts that warp with every slight turn of the dial. This way of creating can only be achieved with the analog dial — no digital manipulation here. The charm of this release is the chance aspect of the act. Snow couldn't have known what would appear as he tweaked the dial but shows his improvisational skill by knowing when to stay on, leave or modulate each of the frequencies he happens upon. (Blackwood Gallery)